Volkswagen AG opened a $40 million logistics center in Roane County, Tenn., to reduce delivery times of components for the Passat mid-sized sedan.
The 459,000-square-foot (41,300-square-meter) complex is starting as a redistribution center to serve warehouses and will later expand to include spare-parts supply for more than 110 vehicle retailers in the southeast United States, VW said today in a statement.
"This new facility serves as tangible proof of the clear commitment that Volkswagen Group of America has to meeting the needs of our dealers and our growing customer base," Anu Goel, vice president of parts and vehicle logistics at the manufacturer's U.S. division, said in the statement.
The distribution center currently has 5 employees and will grow to about 30 employees next year, a VW spokesman said.
The spokesman said the distribution center will supply parts to 13 countries outside the United States where the U.S.-built Passat is marketed. Those countries include Mexico, Canada and South Korea.
Growth in North America is critical to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn's strategy for VW to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors and become the world's biggest carmaker by 2018.
Volkswagen started making the Passat's U.S. variant in 2011 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The company plans to invest more than $5 billion in North America in new models, technology and infrastructure in the three years through 2015. VW already operates five parts warehouses in the United States.
Gabe Nelson of Automotive News contributed to this report.